New Rose Beauty (Actually About Europe and Those Muhammad 'Toons)


Europe today finds itself trapped in a posture of moral relativism that is undermining its liberal values. An unholy three-cornered alliance between Middle East dictators, radical imams who live in Europe, and Europe's traditional left wing is enabling a politics of victimology. This politics drives a culture that resists integration and adaptation, perpetuates national and religious differences, and aggravates such debilitating social ills as high immigrant crime rates and entrenched unemployment.

That's from Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten who published the Muhammad cartoons that caused such a stir (it seems like it was only yesterday). Whole article here.

I don't so much disagree with his shtick above as much as I want to supplement it: Don't forget to blame Europe's traditional right wing, too, and in fact, don't forget to blame Europe in general–not for the idiotic worldwide violence that ensued (that's the Islamists' fault), but for immigration and citizenship policies that remain rooted in blood and soil.

That is, in tribal solidarity rather than the Enlightenment value of universal rights, that we are all citizens of the world. As the U.S. gets roiled in its own mostly stupid debate over immigration and, as important, what it means to be an "American," we've neglected to acknowledge fully the genius of our simple citizenship model: Anyone who is born here qualifies for citizenship and anyone, regardless of racial or ethnic background, can be a full-fledged citizen. That's a real achievement (and exceedingly rare even in today's world) and the many periods in history where our country turned away from that openness don't undercut it.

Hat tip: Alan Vanneman, film critic extraordinaire.